How to Cope with Traumatic Stress

How to Cope with Traumatic Stress

By Brittany Phillips

A typical response to an unexpected and overwhelming situation is traumatic stress. Symptoms often improve over time, however some who experience more severe symptoms may require professional help.

Common Responses to Traumatic Stress

People frequently experience shock, disorientation, or a difficulty processing upsetting information after experiencing a traumatic event. After these first reactions pass, you may have a range of thoughts and behaviors.

  • Uncharacteristic Feelings- You may be experiencing anxiety, uncertainty, overwhelm, or grief. Additionally, you might feel more emotional or moodier than normal.
  • Fluctuation in Thoughts and Behaviors- You might recall the incident repeatedly and in great detail. These flashbacks could happen suddenly and cause physical symptoms like perspiration or a quick heartbeat. You might find it difficult when making decisions or concentrating. Both eating and sleeping schedules can be thrown off. While some may overeat and oversleep, others may have a loss of appetite and sleep.
  • Sudden Environmental Sensitivity- alarms, horns or other environmental loud noises may cause a reaction or trigger memories which may increase your anxiety.
  • Strained Relationships- There may be an increase in the amount of conflict in your life, such as arguments with family members and coworkers more frequently. Additionally, you could retreat, isolate yourself, or stop participating in your typical social activities
  • Physical Symptoms of Stress- There is a chance you will experience symptoms of physical stress such as chest pain, nausea, and headaches that can appear after a traumatic event.

How to Cope with Traumatic Stress?

Thankfully, there are a number of highly successful coping strategies and trauma-related stressor treatments available. These behaviors, according to psychologists and other studies, can help:

  • Rely on your loved ones- Choose your family or friends as your source of support. If you’re ready, you could share your experience with them regarding the traumatic event. To reduce some of your everyday stress, you can also ask for help from your loved ones with household chores or other daily responsibilities.
  • Acknowledge your Feelings- It’s normal to want to put a traumatic event behind you and not think about or deal with it. But, it’s not healthy to cope with your trauma by avoiding what happened or by avoiding your support system and any excessive avoidance can potentially extend not only the traumatic stress but can prolong your healing time.
  • Self-Care is not Self-Ish- Only you know how to truly care for yourself in the way that you need. If that looks like a short 10-minute shower, or a full-on trip to the salon, it’s okay to arrange ways to make that happen. It is not selfish to do what only you know you need in order to get your health back to a good place.
  • Trust the Process and Give it Time- It’s important to remember that time is needed after experiencing a traumatic event. Give yourself grace, and be patient with how your individual body needs to heal and improve towards full recovery.

When to get Help?

While some people will recover on their own, many will need counseling to fully heal and recover. If you are ready to begin the journey of overcoming your trauma then we are here for you. At New Vision Counseling and Consulting we have a team of caring therapists who are highly trained in helping you work through trauma and create a life you want to be a part of. The natural next step is to call us at (405) 921-7776 or go to our website at NewVisionCounseling.Org. We hope to meet you soon!

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Andrew BrownAndrew Brown
11:05 06 Feb 24
Shawn called me directly and sought out a resolution with me for a recent poor experience I had. He showed genuine care and consideration over the phone, and demonstrated he truly cares about the clients that come here and wants everyone to get the help they need. That's how it needs to be in any place helping others in God. God bless.
Andy EatonAndy Eaton
21:00 11 Oct 23
I totally recommend Josh Rhoades. He's helped me overcome a lot of anxiety and work-related stress and the effects it's had on me this year. For any guys out there wondering if they should go to counseling, you should definitely give Josh and New Vision a try.
Mark VonFeldtMark VonFeldt
12:04 23 Aug 23
I admit I didn't think I needed counciling but when I hit a tough period in life. Caleb McKean at New Vison Counseling was extrodinary in helping me out and providing encourgement, prespective and confidence. In addition, it was great seeing Shawn McGuire who consitantly provided an uplifting personality that’s just contagious.
Elizabeth ProtzmanElizabeth Protzman
11:41 24 May 23
My husband and I just wrapped up counseling with Shawn. And if you told me 6 months ago our family would be how we are now, I would have been in total disbelief. Shawn’s approach to counseling is next level and took us to new places we never thought that we could experience freedom and he put a light on places we never knew were still dragging us down.My husband (before counseling) had past trauma that weighed him down so heavily that his negative self talk was taking over his mental life. He was completely unable to be social anywhere, see positivity in anything, and talked with a super meek voice because he didn’t see worth in himself. We thought that “this is just his personality”, but Shawn was able to uncover the trauma that was holding him back and helped him break free of it. He now speaks with a voice to be heard and even he engages in social situations!I went through a terrible health scare while we were going through sessions. My optometrist thought that I had a tumor or fluid build up in my skull. Shawn helped me navigate all of the feelings that I kept shoving down. On my second session of talking about this medical situation, we really got to the root of my stress and behavior in this situation and in life. I felt a ton of weight lifted off of me in that moment just by digging out every root in my heart that wasn’t welcome there. Later that day (a Thursday) I had my MRI scans and that Sunday I woke up headache/migraine free for the first time in four months. Monday I got the news that nothing was there. I truly believe that God did a healing work in that therapy session. A physical healing of my body and a spiritual healing of my mind.Through all of this Shawn was not only there for just our counseling sessions, but when I was going through all of the medical stuff he would check in and see how everything was going. He recommended for my husband to go to a camp that absolutely played a part in changing my husband’s life. And all that I’ve shared is only the surface of all of the healing we received. I would have to write a novel for the rest, lol.If you’re looking for healing and willing to show up and put in the work…Shawn will help you get there.
Steve RodriguezSteve Rodriguez
14:25 06 May 22
New Vision Counseling and Consulting saved my marriage as they helped and are helping me deal with my issues with depression and anxiety. I have been taught new methods of dealing with these issues and they are life saving. I have enjoyed my experience with Shawn Maguire, the best therapist I could ask for, and feel this place is a Godsend. I never thought therapy would work for me but I was wrong and wish I had come here sooner. Excited for what the future holds.

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